In an interview with The Washington Post, Donald Trump said that if elected president he would rescind the Obama Administration’s historic directives protecting transgender people from discrimination, and instead force the LGBT community to rely on states to “make the right decisions.” Opponents of civil rights have long cloaked discrimination under the guise of so-called "states' rights."
"[States] should come up with a policy that’s going to work for everybody and protect people,” he said.
Last week, Trump refused to support the Obama Administration’s ground-breaking guidance that public schools and schools receiving federal money must ensure that transgender students are treated with dignity and allowed equal access to facilities, such as restrooms, consistent with their gender identity.
His support of “states' rights” over LGBT rights comes as several state leaders, including North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, have vowed to embrace discrimination against transgender people by disregarding Obama’s historic directive.
“.@realDonaldTrump says trust @patmccrorync & @gregabbott_tx to protect LGBT community,” HRC President Chad Griffin tweeted. “Appealing as that sounds, no.”
Trump remains dangerously out of step with the majority of fair-minded Americans who believe that LGBT people should be treated equally under the law. Trump has not only promised to use the Supreme Court to roll back nationwide marriage equality, but he’s supported a bill that would lead to more Kim Davis-style discrimination, and said that he would allow states like North Carolina violate federal civil rights laws.
A survey by the HRC Foundation found that three-quarters of transgender students feel unsafe in school settings. A report by the Williams Institute found that half of transgender adults who were bullied in school had attempted suicide. These startling numbers can only be expected to rise if the North Carolina law, and other similar bills proposed in other states, continue to target these young people.